Cats in the Sampler

Materials

Light weight cottons are recommended

  • 3m of plain black fabric
  • Lots of fabric scraps in light, medium and dark tones
  • 173 x 262cm of wadding (68 x 103")
  • 173 x 262cm of backing fabric (68 x 103")
  • 0.75m of fabric for binding
  • Template plastic or tracing paper
  • Sheet of fine sand paper for hand appliqué
  • Freezer paper or similar for machine appliqué
  • Sharp fabric markers for light and dark fabrics
  • Neutral thread for hand or machine piecing
  • Black thread for appliqué
  • Invisible thread for machine appliqué and quilting
  • Quilting thread for hand quilting
  • Black embroidery thread for whiskers and tails

Finished Size

64 x 99" (163 x 251cm) This fits a 4'6" bed lengthways, but with no overhang

Skill Level

Intermediate

You can download a pdf copy of the original magazine pages for this project here, Cats In The Sampler Part 3

In Part 3 Dilys has the patterns for the final three blocks and instructions for ‘boxing the blocks’ to make them appear as three dimensional boxes.

Sizes of blocks in Part Three

11 Attic Windows 4 blocks each 6 1/2in square
12 Thousand Pryamids 12 1/2in square
14 Angled Stars 25 1/2in x 21 1/2 rectangle

 

Figure 1: Cats in the Sampler blocks
Figure 1: Cats in the Sampler blocks

Block 11 Attic Windows

Figure 2: Attic Windows
Figure 2: Attic Windows

This is sewn by machine using speed piecing. You will need four dark squares of 4 1⁄2" and one strip 26 x 2 1⁄2" cut from a medium and a light fabric. Cut these strips into four equal lengths of 6 1⁄2".

  1. Mark a dot, 1⁄4" in, at one corner of the square where all three seams will meet (Figure 3).
  2. Place the light strip onto the left side of a dark square RS together. Make sure the raw edges are together at the top and the excess fabric overlaps the corner with the marked dot. Sew from the marked dot to the outer edge and then fold and press the strip open.
  3. Place the medium strip along the lower edge in the same way and sew from the dot to the outer edge.
  4. With RS together, fold the square in half, along the diagonal, from the marked dot. This brings the side strips together. Place a ruler along the diagonal fold and mark a line where it crosses the spot and continues over the strips to the corner (Figure 4).
  5. Sew along this line starting from where the side strips meet to the corner and cut away the excess fabric to leave a 1⁄4" seam. Iron the seams away from the square.
  6. Make 4 squares like this and sew the squares together to make the block.
Figure 3: Sewing the strips around the square
Figure 4: Marking and sewing the angled corner
Figure 3: Sewing the strips around the square
Figure 4: Marking and sewing the angled corner

Block 12 Thousand Pyramids

Figure 5: Thousand Pyramids
Figure 5: Thousand Pyramids
  1. This machine method uses a single template. Remember to add a 1⁄4" seam allowance. Using the template, cut sixteen triangles in dark to medium dark fabrics and sixteen triangles in light to medium light fabrics.
  2. Place the triangles in sequence and join.
  3. Join the lines together, positioning the points of the triangles in one line centrally to the base of the triangles in the next line. Take care not to ‘chop’ off the top corners of the triangles when sewing the lines together.
  4. Square up the blocks and trim off any excess fabric at the sides.

 

 

 

Block 14 Angled Stars

Figure 6: Angled Stars
Figure 6: Angled Stars

Made with a speed method.

TIP! Refer closely to Figure 6 and sew one line at a time. After sewing, lay out all the patches to check they are in the right position.

Figure 7: Sewing the Angled Star patches

Figure 7: Sewing the Angled Star
patches
Figure 8: Units required for the Angled Star

Figure 7: Units required for the Angled Star

Boxing the blocks

Check the measurements of each of the panels at this stage. Because of the geometric nature of the setting, it is much better to spend the time adjusting them now. Otherwise there will be the frustration of battling with ill-matched corners, strips that don't line up and bulges which won’t ‘quilt out’.

Each block has been set to look like it stands on the front of a box. Naturally the dimensions of the block will determine the size of the strips to be added, however, the method is the same throughout. The 3D box effect is achieved by clever use of dark, medium and light fabrics.

Method for the single 12 1⁄2" blocks

Figure 9: Assembling the dark side of the box
Figure 9: Assembling the dark side of the box
Figure 10: Assembling the top side of the box
Figure 10: Assembling the top side of the box

Method for the 6 1⁄2" squares

Method for the centre panels

Millwheel and Star Flower boxes

Sew as for the 12 1⁄2" blocks, using the following: dark strip 2 1⁄2 x 12 1⁄2", black corner 2 1⁄2" square; black/ dark 2" triangles, top strip 2 1⁄2 x 26 1⁄2".

Angled Stars boxes

Note regarding the cat templates. Last month one appliqué cat slipped through the cat flap and went missing (appropriately the Crazy cat) and the Clamshell cat ate too much pet food and if photocopied at 166% as instructed would be rather large on the block. So both cats are shown again here. However, as explained in the first instalment, you can place the cats on whichever block you prefer, so enlarge and flip the templates as you wish and use as many or as few to suit your quilt.

Cats in the Sampler quilt
 
Cats in the Sampler quilt

 

Dilys gives the final instructions for sewing on sashing and quilting in Part Four

First published in Popular Patchwork May 2001

  1. Cut twelve 3 1⁄2" squares in medium fabric, and thirty seven in light fabric. Cut fourteen 2 1⁄2 x 3 1⁄2" rectangles in light fabric and seventy two 2" squares in dark fabric.
  2. Mark the WS of all the dark 2" squares with a diagonal line. Place onto the corner of a large square or rectangle as required by the pattern, RS together and sew along the marked diagonal (Figure 7).
  3. Cut 1⁄4" away from the sewn line to remove the excess fabric. Press the corner open to complete the square or rectangle again.
  4. Repeat the process on the adjacent or opposite corner squares as required by the pattern. The total number of units required is as shown in Figure 8
  5. Place the completed rectangles and squares in sequence. Join the patches in each line. Join lines together to make the block.
  6. Appliqué the cat silhouette in place.
    1. Cut a dark strip 2 1⁄2 x 14 1⁄2".
    2. Cut a 2 1⁄2" square of black fabric and draw on the diagonal (Figure 9). Place this RS together with the dark strip and sew along the marked line. Trim off the excess fabric and iron the corner open.
    3. Sew this to the right side of the block so that the strip extends beyond the top edge for 2 1⁄2". Stop sewing 1⁄4" from the top corner.
    4. Cut out a 2" right angled triangle template. Adding 1⁄4" seam allowances, cut and sew a square made from one dark and one black triangle.
    5. Cut a lighter strip 2 1⁄2 x 12 1⁄2". Sew the prepared square to the LH side of the strip. Sew this to the top edge of the block so that it extends beyond the same corner. Stop sewing 1⁄4" from the corner (Figure 10).
    6. Turn under the fabric on the corner to make a mitre and press. Fold the whole block on the diagonal so that the border strips lie RS together. Sew along the pressed fold to secure the mitre and trim off the excess fabric to complete the block.
    1. Follow the same procedure as above, cutting the fabrics as follows: side dark strip 1 1⁄2 x 7 1⁄2"; 1 1⁄2" corner black square; 1" black and dark triangle (add 1⁄4" seam allowance to triangles); top light strip 1 1⁄2 x 6 1⁄2".
    2. Join a 4 1⁄2 x 7 1⁄2" strip of black fabric above or below the block as shown in Figure 1 and join two squares together to complete the 12 1⁄2" block.
    1. Join Triangle Twist and Clamshell together, separated by a 3⁄4" strip of black fabric. The panels measure 24 1⁄2 x 12 1⁄2". Repeat for Battlegrounds and Attic Windows blocks.
    2. For each panel: cut a dark strip 2 1⁄2 x 14 1⁄2"; 2 1⁄2" corner black square and sew as above.
    3. Use your 2" triangle template and cut and sew a black/dark fabric half triangle unit.
    4. For the top edge, cut two light strips at 2 1⁄2 x 12 1⁄2" and a dark 2 1⁄2" square. Sew one light strip to the half square triangles and angle the other end using the dark square. Add the other light strip.
    5. Sew this long strip to the top edge of the panel as above. Ensure the dark triangle is at the start of the second block
    1. Sew as for the 12 1⁄2" blocks, using the following: dark strip 2 1⁄2 x 25 1⁄2"; black corner 2 1⁄2" square; black / dark 2" triangles; top strip 2 1⁄2 x 21 1⁄2".
    2. Cut two black strips 2 x 27 1⁄2" and sew them to the long sides so that the width is now the same as the other centre panels (26 1⁄2").